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Finally, this one from "Abuse Response Team" at DumbHost:
"In light of this new information, I have gone ahead and re-enabled your domain. Be advised that any mass emails such as this will be considered a violation of our terms of service. You may want to take steps to ensure that services such as this are not sending out this kind of advertisement for your site.
Regards, Abuse Response Team"
"They did not send an advertisement for my site. My articles are publicly available for reprint, as are thousands of other authors'. It is usual practice for authors to give permission for reprinting provided newsletter publisher publishes author's resource box at end of article. It's a way of generating traffic to author's website.
"The author has no control over who uses article in this way. Is a paying advertiser in an ezine shut down if publisher of ezine sends a spam email (assuming that it was spam in first place)? ... That policy makes no sense whatsoever."
Nothing. Zip. Nada. No apology, no nothing.
Nice going DumbHost. You must be proud.
PLAN OF ACTION
My experience was pretty trivial in scheme of things. I was able to get my site restored in just a couple of hours. Consider damage that could be done to your business if that didn't happen though. What would be impact on YOUR bottom line if your site was shut down for 3 days? Or a week? Or for good?
So, what's innocent party to do in a situation like this?
Here's one plan of action:
1. SUE irresponsible complainer for defamation. 2. SUE irresponsible spam police for defamation. 3. FIRE webhost. 4. SUE fired webhost for lost profits.
I for one am not generally in favor of government regulation when it comes to Internet. This is one area, however, in which I must say some form of governmental control should be taken. Where else but online can you have a situation where it's commonplace for someone to take punitive action against an innocent bystander BEFORE giving them a fair hearing? Where else but online can ignorant and/or malicious individuals be allowed to cause such injury to someone else's livelihood without being called to account? Try that in real world and you'll be answering a charge of vandalism, defamation and trespass to goods just to start.
It's high time someone took a balanced approach to issue of spam and recognized that, although spam is an undeniable problem, so too are anti-spam zealots and plain malicious types who think it's sport to trash some innocent person's business and reputation. They should be held to account for damage they cause.
In addition, in recognition of this unfortunate fact of online life, a fact, I might add, of which webhosts are only too well aware, webhosts should also be held accountable for shutting down livelihoods based only on prosecution's case in chief. The defense is entitled to be heard and any conviction that results from a one-sided hearing is nothing short of an abject denial of due process. The legal profession can't get away with that. Why hell should webhosts?
* Fictionalized names.
Elena Fawkner is editor of A Home-Based Business Online .... practical home business ideas, resources and strategies for the work-from-home entrepreneur. http://www.ahbbo.com